Amstrad unveils Ultima cut-price beauty range

Electronics giant Amstrad launches a new division dedicated to beauty care called Ultima this week, selling face creams and a facial toning system.

Plans for the new division were revealed exclusively in Marketing Week (July 7). At a press conference tomorrow (Thursday) Amstrad founder Alan Sugar will demonstrate the Ultima Face Care System and show Ultima-branded face creams, produced by Powerhealth, which will start selling in Boots next month. Used together, the company claims the products stop signs of ageing.

Although beauty products appear at odds with Alan Sugar’s macho entrepreneur image, the company says the launch fits with the Amstrad ethos.

“We’ve a heritage of producing consumer products at lower prices. We believe in economies of scale,” says Bordan Tkachuk, Amstrad special projects director, who has overseen the launch. “We intend to sell tens of thousands of units. We hope this is another blockbuster,” he adds.

The Ultima facial toning system is modelled on professional beauty salon systems, such as those sold by CACI International, which cost up to 5,000.

Like the professional systems, Amstrad says its product will eradicate wrinkles by putting electric currents into the skin via a handset. But it intends to market the device to home users and sell it for only 199.

The company would not reveal details of other products in its range, though they are likely to be electronic rather than chemical-based.

A press campaign, developed by Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy, breaks in October and runs for three months. Advertising will run in the female beauty press positioning Ultima as a premium line for over-35s. Television ads will be on air by Christmas. Ultima devices will also be sold through Amstrad’s telephone sales subsidiary, Amstrad Direct.

Amstrad will use the Ultima brand for its sponsorship of the TV show Capital Woman presented by Julia Carling, who will also front the launch.

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